Discovery: Using the DSTWO on a late-model Original DS enables variable/higher brightness settings!

Discussion in 'Supercard' started by sieroi, Jan 29, 2016.

  1. sieroi

    sieroi GBAtemp Regular

    Apr 29, 2015
    Pretty neat quirk. It only seems to be the case on the very last batches of original/phat DS systems, on the market at the same time as the DS Lite. The original DS models shipped with two brightness settings, and only two- "On" and "Off". The DSTwo, on compatible models, allows you to set variable brightness from within EOS/Real-time Menu by tapping the brightness icon- just like a DS Lite.

    It also, surprisingly, allows you to raise the brightness above the highest level the stock system software permits.

    Obviously, this won't turn your original DS into a DS Lite- by any stretch. The screen's still 2004-era quality, with the same washed-out colours as ever - but it is a marked improvement where the extra brightness is helpful, and a neat, unexpected bonus feature of the card.

    This only works on DS systems that shipped with Firmware v5 - essentially, just those released at the very end of the model's production run. Earlier model systems don't allow this to work- the necessary hardware just isn't available.

    It's the same sort of result you can get by flashing a late-revision FlashMe Lite firmware image on a v5 DS, but without the necessity of overwriting your system's firmware.

    To check whether your system is on a compatible (v5) firmware revision, just follow the standard steps- turn on the system with a DS cartridge inserted, open PictoChat, enter a Chat Room, then eject the cartridge while the system's still turned on. If both screens turn purple/magenta, your system is compatible with this- if not, you're out of luck.

    I assume that this will work on any other flashcart that allows brightness level adjustment from within its UI, as well- but I've only got a DSTWO to test it with.
    Last edited by sieroi, Jan 29, 2016
    Technicmaster0 likes this.
  2. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye Always Remember 30/07/08

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    Mar 17, 2010
    This isn't exactly unknown, but I wasn't aware that flashcarts could change the brightness on such systems.
    The v5 firmware units actually had the hardware required for brightness adjustment, as it's a hardware feature, not a software one. The DS phat firmware just didn't make that hardware functionality accessible. IIRC it was mainly the red MKDS units that came with this firmware.
    Anyone who still has a v5 phat should probably install flashme on it. It's easy to install on a phat, much trickier on a lite though. I've done it myself on my v3 phat (which supported wifime making the process doable without a slot-1 cartridge, which didn't exist at the time)
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